Berlin plots: Discussion on BIMA sales

Berlin's Senator for Urban Development Michael Mueller wants that state-owned Berlin properties are no longer sold on the principle of the highest offer.

by Peter Guthmann Published on:

Building affordable housing is only possible when builders are enabled to buy the plots for reasonable prices, that is obvious.

What works relatively well for Berlin real estate that is in the hands of the city of Berlin does not automatically apply to those properties that belong to the Federal Government. Latter are managed and sold by the BIMA, the Federal Agency for Real Estate.  And the BIMA always sells to the bidder with the highest offer. 

The dispute between BIMA on one side and Senate and districts on the other side is not new and an agreement is not in sight. The districts say that the BIMA doesn´t care about their concerns. And the BIMA says, among other things, that the administrations and districts in Berlin are simply too slow in responding to requests and the authorities slow down each other. Those who have been involved with the planning authorities in Berlin, especially with the building authorities, the historic preservation department and city planning department, know that the argument is not pulled out of thin air. The so called housing control center that was created to coordinate the work of authorities and districts does not seem to be a big help.

Berlin is missing an opportunity

Instead to working constructively with the BIMA the districts are rattling with the sabers. Kreuzberg, for example, is threating investors with a possible blockade in the authorization process and in the change of current development plans. Background: Some of the most interesting BIMA plots are for commercial use and not for residential buildings. This must be changed for the construction of apartments. But is it a good idea to treat the buyers of BIMA plots like petitioners? It shows how ideological the situation is treated by districts and Senate.

Change  laws or make PPP!

The BIMA points out that they are obliged by law to take as much money as possible on the sale of Federal Government properties. To change this, a legislative change is required. Until then, the authorities and districts could think about a PPP (Public Private Partnership). This costs money, yes. But in the long term, it´s a strong lever for the public sector.